The Concordia Parish Police Jury scheduled a special meeting for today (July 21) to discuss the solid waste contract with Waste Pro.

The special meeting was set as the Jury continues to field complaints over garbage pickup a week after advising Waste Pro to improve its service.

At its July 12 meeting, the Jury approved a resolution to send a certified letter to the contractor to discuss fines it may face for missed garbage pickups in June and thus far in July.

In the certified letter, Jury President Joe Parker told Waste Pro the Jury “no longer needed reasons” on why the pickups are not being made, but that “we need results.”

Jury Secretary-Treasurer Sandi Burley said Tuesday that the contract with Waste Pro hits the two-year mark this December.

Waste Pro is contracted to serve 4,300 households parishwide. The company is paid $57,846 a month to pick up residential garbage, averaging $13.20 per household for once-a-week pickup.

The present contract calls for a review of service at the end of two years, and specifies that either party by Oct. 1stof the second year can request changes or termination of the contract.

Additionally, Burley said the contract calls for fines of $100 for each missed run and $150 for each continued missed run.

She said areas around Vidalia, including Concordia Park, are the only places where garbage has been picked up on a regular basis. During the past two weeks, areas including Levee Heights, Lake St. John and south Monterey to Acme have not had garbage pickup.

Due to similar issues this year, the Jury at one point was forced to use inmate labor in the Monterey area because there had been no pickups there in a week.

In April, jurors questioned the company over its collection practices with several jurors saying they field complaints about garbage pickup constantly with juror Adams saying he hears complaints daily.

Waste Pro said it would address the issues, and said that communication was a major problem that they would seek to improve immediately.

At that April meeting, jurors added the company’s pickup routes are not on schedule and that pickup is erratic. As a result, jurors said they and Jury employees are called all times of the day and night about garbage pickup issues they don’t have the answers to.

The Solid Waste contract with Waste Pro was executed on Dec. 17, 2019, and became effective Jan. 1, 2020.

The contract stipulates that a “missed collection is defined as the failure of the contractor to provide collection service to a residential property within the route during collection hours on the day scheduled for route collection, if the materials to be collected do not include any unacceptable waste, and are set out at the proper time and location in accordance with provisions” of the agreement.

There is a clause in the contract that identifies damages for specified breaches of contract that notes that failure to collect missed pickups “within 24-hours of notification to contractor -- $100 each occurrence.

“Repetition of complaints on a route after notification of spilling, non-collection, crossing planted area, or similar violations - $150 for each such repetitive complaint.” 

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